Annual Reports

PARTNERSHIP WEST FOOD BANK

2013 REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY

Overview

Our mission is to serve the needs of the community of Burlington by providing emergency food to residents in need and to co-ordinate food and financial donations from local churches, organizations and individuals. Our mission has not changed and will continue to be the basis of how we handle the trust of the community in the coming years.

We are often asked, who uses Partnership West. The easy answer is that they are people who need help. A better definition would be: “they are single parents, they are elderly, they are young, they live below the poverty line, they suffer from mental or physical illnesses, they are underemployed or unemployed, they may or may not live in a home they are new families to Canada, and they need assistance. Other than that, they are like us.

Each March, the Ontario Association of Food Banks does a food count. They ask the member food banks across Ontario to provide a picture of the number of people fed during the month. Frankly, in such a rich country, the numbers are staggering; 376,000 people used a Food Bank last March of whom 131,000 were children.

Look at it another way, the number of people in Ontario who depended on food banks in 2013 is more than twice the population of Burlington.

These numbers are reflected in our activity at Partnership West. This past year, our Food Bank provided some 7,200 people with food and other health related products. In addition, we worked with a number of churches and other agencies to support outreach programs within Burlington. Too, add the fact that other Food Banks also contribute to feeding people within the community means that the need goes way beyond Partnership West. To put your contributions to Partnership West in a different light, financial and food donations provided over 220,000 meals in 2013. A real success for our donors. Without the on-going commitment of the community we would not have met this need.

Partnership West receives no government monies, grants or food donations. We only survive on the kindness of the community; from churches to individuals, from the corporate sector to various associations, from schools to service clubs. All of you make the difference. We are proud of our accomplishments as an agency that tries hard to reduce hunger within our Burlington community and pledge to continue to work hard to use the resources provided by you in the most effective way possible.

Our Community – Our Thanks

We are grateful to those individuals who fill our donor bins at the various grocery stores each and every week. You have no idea how these donations add up and how they help us meet the needs of our clients.

An example of “Commitment to Community” is an individual who provides us with some 1,000 pounds of beef on an annual basis. This individual quietly helps feed the needy. One of many caring people.

We are thankful to the various schools across the city who run food drives during the school year. Too, we are thankful for the time and effort of many students who provide assistance in sorting donations. As an example, Notre Dame High School have provided in excess of 5,000 hours of community service at our location over the past fifteen years. That is called “Commitment to Community”.

We are thankful to various groups such as the Burlington Old Timers Hockey Association who have partnered with us by collecting food at the rinks every week and providing a large financial donation each and every year for the past twenty years. That is called “Commitment to Community”.

What can we say about Tim Hortons and their Smile Cookie Campaign? $ 42,869 is a large amount of money or to put it another way, a large amount of dough. We used these funds to provide a snack pack program for school age children. We provided some 2,300 snack packs in 2013. This means that children had fruit cups, granola bars, raisins, cheese snacks and juice boxes for lunch and recesses. Many of our clients have pointed out what an impact it has had on school lunches.

We are thankful for the 6,000 plus hours of service provided by our volunteers in 2013. They sort cans and dry goods, they pick up food from different locations across the city, they wash floors, and they stock shelves and help people shop. We would not be able to function without you. Our thanks.

During the year there are two major community food drives, with one at Easter and the other at Thanksgiving. These food drives are organized and promoted by Burlington Food Share, a long standing partnership between us and the Salvation Army with donations of food being facilitated with the cooperation of local grocery stores and city Fire Stations

These are only a few examples of the support we receive from the community at large. Our web site details the names of many of our donors. Too, many ask that we not publicize their kind donations.

Needless to say, we appreciate what everyone has done in our Community and are hopeful you will be in a position to assist again in 2014.

Key Changes in 2013

Our Board focused on a number of key areas in 2013. These included:

  1. A major initiative for Partnership West in 2013 was the opening of a second food bank located at St. Christopher’s’ Church on Guelph Line. For the past number of years, we have been aware of the need for a more centralized food bank location. St. Christopher’s stepped forward and have included us as part of their “Open Door” initiative. We invested in a new stand-alone portable building and duplicated the client service program. The end result is that clients could use either facility.

    We were finally able to open the facility in mid-October and fully expect the location to provide access to people who found our main location difficult to access.
  2. A complete re-write of our web site. Our old site was tired, not as up-to-date as it needed to be for both donors and clients. The current site is still young and will be maintained on an on-going basis. It will have a significant impact on our ability to get our message across to our community.

    Our sincere thanks to David Roberts and his team at Glacier Digital who spent many hours preparing the site.
  3. We continued to work with various churches on providing weekly meals for those in need. In 2013, we estimate that with food and financial support from Partnership West, some 20,000 plus meals were provided. We see this as a growing trend in 2014.
  4. The Food Bank worked on expanding relationships within the community. We provided food for a number of cupboards and began building relationships with other social agencies. We have set the groundwork
  5. We worked with the Burlington Eagles on their wonderful food drive and as a result received some 20,000 pounds for our clients. They call the food drive “the gift of giving back community food drive”. They sure do that and we will continue to partner with them in the future.
  6. We started a test breakfast program at a local high school. This program, described as successful by the Principal, provided some 300 breakfasts in the first two months of operation will continue to the end of the current school year.
  7. The Board started a review of its current approach to governance, financial controls as well as developing a long-term strategic plan that will permit the agency to be a viable option for those in need for as long as necessary.

Our Pledge

As David Jack, our past-Chair, stated in the 2012 report: “We are proud of our operation and the many people in our organization who work hard and are committed to ensure that the resources given to us are used wisely, fairly and efficiently and that we serve all in our local community in need of food. We ask for your increased support, as we receive no government money. We pledge to continue using the resources the community provides to serve the needs of the community effectively. We live in one of the best communities in Ontario. Help us to be the best food bank in Ontario and respond to the increasing needs of our fellow residents”.

We met this pledge in 2013 and it will be the basis as to how we operate in 2014.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

Cass Quinn, Chair